Scoreboard Season

December 16, 2016



Kacie Kaufman
News Editor | kjk019@latech.edu


Welcome to scoreboard season. It’s the season of football heading into playoff games and the rise of keeping careful score in daily life. It’s the season for giving — and in turn, receiving. The safety and, indeed, the peace of the holiday seasons is dictated by an ability to give equally.


We spend hours carefully crafting an appropriate set of rules for giving, equating affection and status for a higher price tag and more careful selection. Acquaintances are carefully relegated to Secret Santa circles and price limits. Families play the game of praying they draw their favorite cousin’s name in the yearly pool for gift giving, all the while hoping their name is received by one of the members of the wealthy branch of the family. Those in a relationship take a calculating look at where the relationship is and where it may be going. Is this a partner whose gift will be found on a frantic search on Dec. 24 or one whose present will be lovingly wrapped weeks in advance?


Especially at this time of year, past wrongs are carefully added up and considered in deciding what gifts to get others. A recent fight could lead to a present most likely destined for re-gifting at a White Elephant exchange in the near future. The cheapest way to spread cheer is sought out, especially for those near the bottom of our Christmas list.


Black Friday reductions and Cyber Monday deals promise discounted holiday spirit, and in turn draw crowds to stores and websites. People would rather pay half the price for the full personal credit of giving a gift.


This deal-hunting is all part of the process of attempting to make sure we each receive exactly as much as we give. Price limits are set and adhered to, and any deviation from this is strictly discouraged.


The ideals of perfect reciprocity and fairness have been touted for generations, yet they remain unattainable. So, consider this: perhaps the greatest gifts to give are acceptance and a gift given in genuine good spirit. The world will never be completely without some sort of inequity, and inherent unfairness is simply a piece of the human condition.


Instead of aiming for an even playing field for all, make sincere giving the goal, sans the painstakingly crafted personal scorecard and careful calculating of what may be received in return. In the words of Pindar, a poet from ancient Greece, “Every gift, though it be small, is in reality great if given with affection.”


However, for those who insist upon maintaining fairness and keeping a running tally — happy calculating!


Kacie Kaufman is a journalism major from Loveland, CO who serves as news editor for The Tech Talk.


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